An innocent president wouldn't attack the FBI and special counsel Mueller like Trump just did.
Trump delivered an unhinged rant about the Mueller report from the White House lawn Wednesday, further undermining his own earlier claims that the document completely exonerates him of wrongdoing.
"After wasting this money and all of this time with people that were haters, people that worked on the Hillary Clinton Foundation, people that were absolutely haters of Trump, they found no collusion," he shouted.
Trump is of course completely mischaracterizing the career prosecutors and investigators working at the FBI and the Department of Justice who were tasked with investigating Russian election interference. Trump, like most of America, has not seen the report. And while Attorney General William Barr decided not to charge him with obstruction, his letter summarizing Mueller's findings specifically quotes the report as saying it "does not exonerate" Trump.
Some investigators from special counsel Mueller's team have also criticized Barr's summary of their findings, suggesting that the full report — which Barr has hidden from the American public for weeks — is far more damning than Barr has indicated.
Nonetheless, Trump went on to whine that the "phony investigation" was launched through "illegal acts." He described the law enforcement operation as a "crooked," "illegal investigation" and called government employees "dirty cops" and "bad people."
Trump once again invoked the conspiracy theories about a deep state operation designed to undermine his presidency, a story pulled from conspiracy theorist Alex Jones (a Trump ally) and Fox News (also a Trump ally).
"This was an attempted coup, this was an attempted take down of a president. And we beat them, we beat them," he claimed.
"What they did was treason, what they did was terrible," he added, implying that government officials tasked with investigating his potential crimes had committed a crime punishable by death.
He also pushed for Barr to investigate his conspiracy theory, something Barr told Congress he would be doing.
The sad display did not sound like an innocent man who was completely "exonerated," as he and his underlings have repeatedly claimed. Trump has instead sounded increasingly nervous that a public release of the Mueller report will expose him.
And Americans have made it very clear that they aren't buying the story being sold by the White House. Polls show that people want to see the full report and believe Trump probably did commit crimes.
Trump's dog-and-pony show on the White House lawn shows that he is fearful enough of the report's contents that he feels he needs to renew his attacks on Mueller and his team before the truth comes out.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.